The last couple of years have given us a lot to think about in a few ways. One of them being employment and the value of everyone who's out there in the working world. From those who are employers, to those who are working every aspect of the "day to day" being turned upside down over things beyond our control like remote working, adapting work space and even the realization of operations inside the working environment brought great change on both fronts. One thing is for sure, what "was" probably will never be again and there are two ways of looking at that. You can kick rocks or you can look for the helpers. Look for the helpers has been one of the best terms that's come out of the last couple years if you ask me. In this case, the helpers have reshaped the way they work and the term "a new day" has popped up with West Michigan Works.
In Muskegon we are incredibly fortunate to have the the West Michigan Works Center located on Morris Ave in the Terrace Plaza Building. When you walk in, the first thing you see is the expansive room filled with computers that can assist job seekers in a number of things. From job searches to resume building. A deeper look shows that around the main room are individual spaces where people can meet one on one with Career Coaches to help them further their ability on things like soft skills. Soft skills include interviewing prep, workplace nuance and ways to adapt from one work setting to another if there's a major shift in what you are doing for a living. All of the surface stuff is impressive for sure, but like any initial glance, you are only seeing the tip of the ice berg when it comes to what MI Works does and who they do it for.
Operating as a benefactor for both employees and employers, West MI Works is in the business of creating talent solutions for the long term. Beginning with youth who are in a traditional education setting and wanting some real world experience, or some who may have left school but could use the new program Ascend which focuses on helping by providing a path for them to complete that education and find a career path or apprenticeship that is structured to their aptitude and interest. They can even help to find resources within the community that help assist with the necessities along the way. Things like childcare, transportation, work clothing and more. Job Seekers have resources abounding.
Let's talk about the Business Services. Right off the top, the message is clear. West MI Works will help you attract and retain qualified talent. Specific ways to help engage your employees to help them feel more stable and secure. How about up to an 85% increase of retention and with that saving 33% of the costs of retraining a new employee. West MI Works will come right to you to help discuss and plan a strategy to onboard new people and help you find the best candidates in areas that you may have not thought to look before. As an employer too, you can find ways to work with West MI Works to have a voice in regional initiatives to address talent, curriculum and advocacy issues. Yes, you can have a voice in what is needed in the workforce.
From their website, "In partnership with employers, educators, economic developers and community organizations, we work to create a qualified workforce that meets our region’s current and future talent needs and fuels our shared economic future." Right now, on the West MI Works website, there are almost 100 weekly "Hot Jobs" listed, all within a short drive or right here in Muskegon. West MI Works not only lists the jobs, but if you remember back to the beginning, they have the tools, talent and people to help you refine your skills to get one. They even help breakdown the barriers of a past that may keep you from advancing yourself due to a record. West MI Works helps organize expungement clinics so that non violent offenders can possibly get that fresh start into a new beginning, finally.
We've assembled quite a panel to talk about West MI Works today. Larry Sanders is the Talent Solutions Manager of our Muskegon office. He's getting used to lake life as a transplant from Flint. Joining us are Samantha Hinkle who helps with Business Solutions and Trena Williams-Winston and Heather Bates who are part of the team focusing on the younger people. It's a great and highly informative conversation. Take a listen.
That's a big upload of info. It's also as condensed as we can make it when it comes to the resource being offered here. Let's pause for a moment of mindset however. There are two ways to look at what's been presented. First, the old way, which is wrong and didn't work to begin with....you know...."that place is the last stop." Bad. The real world point of view is that MI Works should be the first step to bettering you as a person or betting your business to be stronger and more competitive in a world that's changed so very much over the last couple of years. MI Works isn't the last resort at all, it's a new beginning and a remarkable assist in a better path for all who utilize what they offer. Get what's yours. You can find out more online or stop into Morris Street in Muskegon and hit the ground running. So many thanks to the team at MI Works in Muskegon for finding the time to share their story.